Track20 provides annual estimates for FP2020’s Core Indicators for all 69 countries and intensive support in commitment-making countries to support country-level data collection, analysis and use. This includes a variety of activities that focus on building a cohort of trained and effective family planning M&E experts that drive country efforts around family planning data.
Track20 is working with FP2020 commitment-making countries to recruit and train dedicated family planning M&E officers in pledging countries. Officers are placed in the country's Ministry of Health, Office of Population or other relevant office. The intent is for the M&E officer to become the point person for family planning data from both the public and private sectors. The M&E officer collates, analyzes and disseminates family planning data for reporting, program improvement and strategic decision making. They play a leading role in building consensus around estimates for annual reporting on family planning progress to FP2020. Track20 provides ongoing capacity building for these officers in the form of regional trainings, country visits and direct responses to specific technical requests.
In 2014, Track20 facilitated its first training workshop for M&E officers from 13 countries. The training, which lasted a week, included detailed sessions discussing family planning data available in countries, introducing methodologies and tools used to calculate FP2020 Core Indicators and monitoring efforts currently being supported by global partners. This venue provided the first opportunity for these M&E officers to meet counterparts from other countries and engage in critical discussions about the availability and quality of family planning data in their countries. The training will be repeated later in 2014 with remaining pledging countries.
Also in 2014, Track20 organized the first series of Data Consensus Workshops to produce annual estimates for FP2020 Core Indicators, as well as other country-specific family planning data, and to introduce the process of hands-on annual monitoring of family planning progress. The workshops were held in 10 countries (Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines and Rwanda).
The Data Consensus Workshops are of paramount importance in ensuring that annual monitoring is a country-driven process. Dedicating a specific time to generate and evaluate data using new and innovative estimation tools makes it possible for family planning program decision makers to have timely access to the data that they need to be able to take stock of progress and, if necessary, improve their strategies. Track20 M&E officers are the in-country drivers of this process and sit within government structures that collect, analyze and use family planning data. Data Consensus Workshops also provide an important opportunity for transparency for governments and partners about data and methodologies used in-country and internationally, with a focus on synergizing estimates that are used by all partners.
The organization, content and guest list for Data Consensus Workshops is a country-driven process led by the Ministry of Health—usually the reproductive health unit—with support from the Track20 M&E officers. The workshops brought together public and private-sector technical experts including UN, bilateral donor and NGO partners. Overall, the workshops serve as a platform to discuss the family planning data, including Core Indicator definitions and methodologies; to review locally produced data and identify data gaps; to run statistical models and analyze the outcomes; and, ultimately, to support the use of data in country-level decision making to improve program implementation and quality of services. Data produced during the meeting is shared with FP2020 to show annual progress.